The Moaning After

Having just finished Charles Jackson’s The Lost Weekend, a 1944 novel about an alcoholic’s binge, there’s not a lot to take away. It was at times a fun read, but certainly it’s not for everyone. I got turned on to it by a mention in Kingsley Amis’ Everyday¬†Drinking. I hear it was made into a terrible movie of the same name in 1945.

It’s a slim volume, but it took forever to read because I kept it in the car for travel reading. Often funny, often depressing, and often leading to extreme thirst, I found this passage worth passing on:

They wake up on mornings such as this, all but out of their minds with remorse, enduring what others call and can call a hangover–that funny word Americans will joke about forever, even when the morning-after is their own. The humor of the hangover: the hilarious vocabulary: the things other drinkers call what they suffer then–the things they can call it who endure the normal reaction, merely, of a few hours of headache, butterfly-stomach, and (crowning irony!) nausea at the thought of another drink. The jitters, the ginters, the booze-blues, the hooch-humps, the katzenjammers; the beezy-weezies, screaming meemies, snozzle-wobbles, bottle-ache, ork-orks, woefits, the moaning after. It was ghastly funny, oh hilarious!

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